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government incentives
first principle
melting pot
time investment
plot of land
family time
Rent To Own: Is Home Ownership Becoming Elitist?
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With the tough economy today more and more people are being forced back into renting rather than owning their own homes. This could continue to be the trend with the increasing high rate of unemployment, upside-down mortgages, bankruptcies and rigid lending standards.

Many are telling us that this is really just a return to the norm; that even as recently as the 1930's, the majority of Americans were renters, not home owners. They are trying to convince us that this is an okay standard of living and we should be content. It's fine if we fall from a nation of nearly 70% homeowners back to a normal American average of 40% homeowners, 60% renters.

Fine for whom?

The right to own your own home is not only the first principle of The American Dream, but has been the cause of fighting and dying for millions trying to jump aboard the USS Melting Pot of American emigrants. There have been Land Rushes, government incentives, and westward pioneers who've sweated and died in search of their own plot of land.

Home owners have tax privileges, a life-time investment, something to hand down to their children. People have been foregoing family-time for overtime in order to provide a home for their families. Home-owning is a huge economical force for our country; designing, building, selling, mortgaging, decorating, repairing, insuring, up-buying, and on and on.

Should we give up our collective dreams and be content with a 40% American homeownership rate?

What does that mean?

What it doesn't mean is that people will choose to stop living in dwellings - people will live somewhere.

What it does mean is that they will be living in dwellings that someone else owns and controls. Out of their hands will be the monthly cost of living there and the conditions of the property. They will be working to provide someone else an investment, tax benefit and piece of the American dream.

It sounds a little 'Let them eat cake,' to me - and we all know what happened to that royal family.

There has to be a better solution. Getting people into homes long-term is big business, and as stated - people will live somewhere and usually will want to own where it is they live. We need to stop the current trend towards renting and help people start buying.

I'm sure there are many ways to do this but one way that is seeing a current spike is in the rent to own home market. There is a huge pool of better than average buyers to work with and certainly a flux of higher-quality homes that are not selling. This can be a successful option if the both parties are aware of the risks and opportunities and get help and guidance throughout the process.

The American dream of home ownership does not have to be only for the few. Unless you are content renting, which is usually the case only when space is an issue, we as a nation should not let the average rate of homeownership fall and stay stagnant. In the words of Gerald O'Hara to his daughter, Scarlett, in 'Gone With The Wind', "Why land's the only thing worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for..."

My guess is there are millions of Americans before us who would agree and not want to see the American dream of home ownership become 'gone with the wind.'


Street Talk

Kyle  

Where I live (Victoria, BC), buying a home simply is not an option for most people with the average home price being close to $600K. I am not sure what the solution to this problem is for young people trying to start out other than moving out of the city. It is unfortunate because often times high home prices in cities with moderate job opportunity leads to a less talented work force.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Wow - $600K? That's astounding! I think people are going to (have to) adapt by generations living together. It wouldn't surprise me to see more Walton-families, (does anybody remember the Waltons?), where one property is supported by many family members. It sounds shocking to our current generations, but people can't afford individual homes and worse - they can't afford to age! I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods, but it's very expensive for senior care and medicine, and could probably revert back to the family responcibility, also. Hey! Maybe all the togetherness might make the divorce rate decrease?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

As a Builder (Platinum Homes) in Sydney Australia we are also noticing that the Australian Dream of owning your own home is becoming less affordable. 'Rent to own' schemes are becoming more popular whereby vendors finance buyers into their own home as the Bank rules are too stringent. Whilst the cost to buyers is higher than simply borrowing from a Bank the reality is that at least there is a feasible option for owning your own home.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree - Additionally, as lending gets tighter I'd hope that there will be more severe consequences for those who take advantage of the system, encouraging others to 'privately finance' (for a period of time) when no one else will!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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